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The Africa Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF) has disclosed that it is targeting over one million farmers in the West African sub-region for its cassava mechanisation and agro processing, for the acceleration of cassava harvesting and processing with a target of over ten million people benefiting from the project.
Apart from its efforts at improving cassava farming in Africa, the foundation also seeks to contribute to realising the potential of Africa’s smallholder farmers by confronting specific problems threatening most vital food crops such as bananas, cowpea, peanuts, maize and rice.
AATF is an organisation that facilitates and promotes Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for the access and delivery of appropriate agricultural technologies for sustainable use by smallholder farmers in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) through innovative partnerships and effective stewardship along the entire value chain.
In an interaction with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, to mark the ten years anniversary of the foundation, the Executive Director, Dr. Denis T. Kyetere, itemized some priority problem areas they are set to find solutions to in Africa and this include; impact of climate change on agriculture, pest management, soil management, nutrient enhancement in foods, improved breeding methods and mechanisation.
“AATF works towards food security and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, and its structure and operations draw upon the best practices and resources of both the public and private sectors. It also contributes to capacity building in Africa by engaging African institutions in the execution of tasks that contribute to the Foundation’s mission,” the director said.
He stated further that, “We already have one hundred hectares of cassava in Kwara state and we are going to complete the value chain from planting to the selling of the product. Our intervention is easy and very attractive in the sense that planting of cassava that usually take farmers 4 hours or more will only take us 45 minutes with application of fertilizer at the same time and this I hope will attract many people especially youths to embrace farming which will in turn reduce the challenge of unemployment in the sub-region.”
He added that the group hopes to reach out to 300 farmers in Nigeria this year.